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Lewiston Public Schools see increase in COVID-19 cases

Superintendent Jake Langlais said parents should prepare for the possibility of remote classes.

LEWISTON, Maine — Editors note: The video above aired Sept. 10, 2021.

One of Maine's largest school districts has seen increases in COVID-19 cases among students for months.

Lewiston Public Schools Superintendent Jake Langlais said Thursday morning that 40 pooled COVID-19 tests came back positive. That's the most positive pooled tests the district has seen thus far in the pandemic.

"I'm concerned but I'm also pleased we have the information that we have because we are pool testing," Langlais said. "It's a blessing and a curse because you know that there are positives in and amongst the population which can make people nervous, but the positive side of that is you have that information."

Last month, students at Lewiston Middle School attended classes remotely for a few days due to staffing shortages resulting from cases of COVID. Now, the concern is about student cases.

"Parents always have to be prepared for the potential to be remote," Langlais said. "Those could be daily decisions. We've been real close at several places at several times. I would say that right now is no different. I don't think we're going to be remote this week from what I'm seeing."

That's why Sarah Breton said she decided to pull her daughter Adelynn out of the district and homeschool her for the rest of the year.

"Addie has severe asthma so even just the cold can land her in the hospital," Breton said. "She's already been quarantined twice from exposures in her classroom."

Langlais said the good news is positive cases among staff members are dwindling. He said the district will now figure out the positive pooled tests.

More than 800 vaccines were administered at the district's last vaccine clinic. He said the district's next clinic will be next week.